This instant pot mashed sweet potatoes will make for an EASY side dish at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any meal! It's also a healthy baby food.
This will be our second Thanksgiving as a family of four and my baby's first time partaking in the feast. She will consume more sodium-rich foods than usual, which I'm not too concerned about. It's just one meal, and I'm actually excited to see her trying a little bit of everything.
This year, instead of the typical sweet potato casserole, I'm going to make this SIMPLE dish that is sure to be a hit with babies, kids, and adults!
Healthy mashed sweet potatoes
Traditionally, sweet potatoes are cooked by boiling, steaming, or roasting. I prefer the last method because the potatoes turn out much more flavorful! The downside is it takes at least 45 minutes for the potatoes to get super soft.
Enter the Instant Pot! It cuts the cooking time by half!
Not only that, it frees up the stovetop and oven for your turkey and other dishes. You can also keep the dish warm right in the pot. No extra steps and dishes!
Of course, you can enjoy this year round. In under 30 minutes, you've got yourself a healthy side dish that your baby, older child, and you are going to love! The recipe is pretty basic so there are many ways you can invite variety, both sweet and savory. I offer some suggestions below to help get you started.
Sweet potatoes - I highly recommend using red or orange-fleshed varieties, like garnet and jewel. They will taste sweeter and have a creamier texture compared to the other varieties like purple or tan potatoes, which tend to be starchier.
Pictured are garnet sweet potatoes. As you can see, the result is this beautiful deep orange color that’s reminiscent of pumpkin pie filling.
Milk - use full fat milk for the richness. You may need to add more depending on your sweet potatoes as some tend to be drier than others. You just never know until you cook them!
Optional for the holidays: toasted pecans, marshmallows, maple syrup...whatever gets you in the festive mood 😉
How to make this in the Instant Pot
- Peel and cut into 1 inch pieces. Pour water into the Instant Pot and place a trivet (handles facing up). Add sweet potatoes.
- Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Quick release. Make sure the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. If not, cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain well.
- Add sweet potatoes back into the insert. Add butter, milk, and cinnamon.
Tips for success
- Be sure to cut the sweet potatoes into similar-sized pieces so they cook up evenly.
- Mash while the sweet potatoes are hot. So don't hit cancel after you release the pressure manually. It should automatically set to "keep warm." Not only will it make the mashing easier to do, this will result in a better texture.
- Don't over mix. Otherwise you'll end up with a gummy texture.
- Depending on your sweet potatoes, you may need to add more milk.
Sweet potato mash variations for babies and kids
If you're making this for a weeknight meal, you'll most likely have leftovers. In that case, why not have fun experimenting with various mix-ins!
Here are some EASY ways to invite variety into your baby/child's meals, because that's the name of the game in helping to minimize picky eating.
To the mashed sweet potatoes, mix in:
- Iron-rich foods
- Greek yogurt, cream cheese, or cheese
- Herbs and spices
- Mashed ripe banana, unsweetened applesauce or other fruit puree
- Nuts or seeds
You can also use leftovers to make this creamy sweet potato pasta sauce!
How to serve to babies 6 months and up
Here are some specific examples! Be sure to flatten beans and finely chop chicken and vegetables. Don't be afraid to season your baby's food with spices and herbs!
Frequently Asked Questions
Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. Be sure to add a splash of milk to keep the potatoes from drying out.
Yes! Cool completely and add mixture to a freezer-safe bag (flatten) or container. Will store for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight. Then warm in the microwave, oven, or on the stovetop.
Use vegan butter and full-fat unsweetened unsweetened coconut milk. If you don't like coconut milk, here are the best plant-based milk for toddlers.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces (about 5 large potatoes)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Optional: toasted nuts, marshmallows, maple syrup
- Pour 1 cup of water in IP and place a trivet (handles facing up). Add sweet potatoes. Close lid and set valve to sealing pressure. Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes. Quick release. Note: it will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure. Once it beeps, quick release by turning the vent to venting position.
- Remove the trivet and drain sweet potatoes really well. Place the empty Instant pot insert back into the pot.
- The IP should automatically be at "keep warm" setting. Add the sweet potatoes back to the insert. Add the rest of the ingredients. Using a potato masher, mash. Can be left on warm until serving.
- Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. Be sure to add a splash of milk to keep the potatoes from drying out.
- To freeze: cool completely and add mixture to a freezer-safe bag (flatten) or container. Will store for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge overnight. Then warm in the microwave, oven, or on the stovetop.